Tech Trek is a week-long science and math camp designed to develop interest, excitement, and self-confidence in young women who will enter eighth grade in the fall. It features hands-on activities in math, science, and related fields. All sleeping, eating, instructional, and recreational facilities are located on the Stanford University campus, where the camp is held.
Since the first camp at Stanford in 1998, AAUW-OML has sent 79 Lamorinda middle school girls to Tech Trek camp. AAUW-CA research has shown that many Tech Trekkers have continued their studies in science and medicine in college, and the early campers are now pursuing their career goals in the STEM fields. Based on a study published by AAUW, Solving the Equation, The Variables for Women’s Success in Engineering and Computing, in less than 10 years the United States will need 1.7 million more engineers. Yet women represent only a small fraction of engineers today. Women are also underrepresented in the computer science, chemistry, physics, and mathematics fields.
Tech Trek Camp Scholarships
To encourage young women to pursue STEM careers, where women are currently underrepresented, AAUW-OML sends middle school girls interested in science and math to Tech Trek Camp. The seven 2017 Tech Trek scholarship winners are Olivia House and Cathy Kenderski from Joaquin Moraga Intermediate, Kiara Kofoed and Katerina Bonderud from Orinda Intermediate, and Namratha Kasalanati, Isabelle Lurie, and Maia West from Stanley Intermediate.
These Tech Trek scholarship winners (in photo above) impressed the April Awards Ceremony attendees with presentations describing their love of science and math and their future goals – and these girls do have lofty ones! Kiara Kofoed has a strong interest in computers and robotics. She hopes to apply her knowledge to have a global impact in the political arena. Katerina Bonderud is inquisitive and creative with an interest in robotics and engineering. Olivia House, who loves outer space and music, hopes to be a space roboticist. Kathy Kenderski considers herself to be a scientist already, with plans to become an astrophysicist and a science journalist. Isabelle Lurie makes things using a 3D printer in her Girls Maker Club and has started a Science Bowl at her school. Maia West is enthusiastic about many STEM fields, including physics, astronomy, engineering, robotics and problem solving. Namratha Kasalanati, who is an athlete and musician, has a strong interest in combining scientific knowledge and public policy.
These girls want to make this world a better place. They were chosen after a rigorous process of being nominated by their teachers, completing an application, and being interviewed by a team of three AAUW-OML members.
The Tech Trek Mission
AAUW Tech Trek, founded in 1998, is designed to help girls continue their interests in science, technology, engineering, and math, (STEM) exploration and learning. Studies have shown that 68% of both boys and girls in fourth grade are naturally interested in science. But by eighth grade, this interest has dropped dramatically, especially for the girls.
That is why we feel it is important to support girls interested in science during the middle school years and to expose them to the careers available to women in science today. Many former Tech Trekkers, now in college or working, have told us that Tech Trek was one of the most influential personal or academic experiences of their middle school years. AAUW-CA research has shown that many Tech Trekkers have continued their studies in science and medicine in college, and the early campers are now pursuing their career goals in the STEM fields.
Please Donate to Support Scholarships to Tech Trek
AAUW-OML will be selecting six more Tech Trek campers in the spring. The cost is $1000 to send each girl to camp. If you would like to make a donation to Tech Trek, send your check—made out to AAUW-OML Community Outreach Fund with Tech Trek written in the check memo line—to AAUW-OML Treasurer, 2914 Fyne Drive, Walnut Creek, CA 94598 Here is a link for a donation form.
- Read about recent attendance at Stanford Grace Hopper Tech Trek Camp
- Watch the video on Facebook
- Read our answers to Tech Trek Frequently Asked Questions
- Read the Tech Trek brochure.
- Visit AAUW of California’s Frequently Asked Questions on their Tech Trek website.
- See “Why So Few,” a recent AAUW study.
- Email the AAUW-OML Tech Trek Director, Sandy Fox-Sohner, or call her at (925) 631-0668 for more information.
- We have made a resource list of camps and activities. We do not endorse any of these programs, but are providing the list as a resource for all our Tech Trek candidates, past and present.
- Seattle Girls plan to launch a hand built spacecraft
- Read about Women and Girls in the News for inspiration.
Lockheed Martin Grant
Lockheed Martin invested in Tech Trek with a $90,000 grant to AAUW in 2015. $40,000 helped the Association expand Tech Trek into a national program with 20 camps in 9 states. $50,000 added enrichment to four existing camps located near Lockheed Martin sites. The two camps held on campus at Stanford University—Camp Marie Curie and Camp Grace Hopper—each received $12,500. This was an unrestricted grant. Read the official press release for details.